Initial reports from the Boston Police are citing 3 dead and dozens injured by 2 successive explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line. The Boston Marathon is an international spectacle, established in 1897. The world's best marathon runners train for this event and this attack certainly mars this historic event.
As the situation is both breaking and dynamic, details about the background of the bombing are slowly emerging. An analysis of open-source intel, currently available, suggests that there is indeed a potential for there to be involvement on behalf of a foreign terrorist organization or even a home grown terrorist cell. As of now, Boston Police are operating under the assumption that this is a 'possible terrorist attack.'
1. Today, the 15th of April, is known as 'Patriot's Day' in Massachusetts, Maine, and Wisconsin. This civic holiday marks the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. The obviously powerful nationalist imagery of today's date leaves the potential for symbolic targeting.
2. Video footage and witness reports are indicative of IED-like explosions that were possibly located in trash cans. The nature of these coordinated explosions are certainly the products of a deliberate attack and not a possible accident or gas line explosions. IED's are typical in asymmetric warfare attacks, commonplace with insurgent attacks. Further reports suggest the use of intentional shrapnel, like ball bearings or possibly shot gun pellets.
3. In yesterday's New York Times, an op-ed was published titled "Gitmo is killing me," which described the hunger strikes and treatment of the prisoners held there. This attack could be coordinated to the publicity associated with the running of the piece.
Boston area hospitals are reporting numerous cases of lost limbs and shrapnel related injuries. Boston Police are currently combing the area's trash cans in case there are additional explosive devices - with a controlled explosion already taking place to neutralize another potential explosive device. In addition, cell phone services are being shut down in case of the threat of a remote detonation by cellphone.
For precautionary measures, even New York law enforcement assets are being deployed in New York City. Government buildings and popular tourist destinations are being secured at this moment. Furthermore, Port Authority has also increased security at bridges, tunnels, and subways. Counterterrorism units are on high alert in New York City in case the explosions in Boston are part of something larger.